Earlier this year, 6sqft got an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at the Loew’s Jersey City, one of the five opulent Loew’s Wonder Theatres built in 1929-30 around the NYC area. We’ve now gotten a tour of another, the United Palace in Washington Heights. Originally known as the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre, the “Cambodian neo-Classical” landmark has served as a church and cultural center since it closed in 1969 and was purchased by televangelist Reverend Ike, who renamed it the Palace Cathedral. Today it’s still owned by late Reverend’s church but functions as a spiritual center and arts center.
Thanks to Reverand Ike and his church’s continued stewardship, Manhattan’s fourth-largest theater remains virtually unchanged since architect Thomas W. Lamb completed it in 1930. 6sqft recently visited and saw everything from the insane ornamentation in the lobby to the former smoking lounge that recently caught the eye of Woody Allen. We also chatted with UPCA’s executive director Mike Fitelson about why this space is truly one-of-a-kind.
Take the incredible digital tour
Image via The Met
If checking out The Cloisters has long been on your to-do list, there’s no better time to head north than for the museum’s MetFridays. On Friday, August 11th (that’s tomorrow!) and Friday, August 25th, The Met will host two hours of live 1930s jazz at sunset in their stunning medieval gardens. Performances will feature trumpeter Alex Nguyen, winner of the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition, and his quartet as they perform the same ditties that topped the charts when the museum was first constructed between 1934 and 1939.
more details here
The amusement park in 1908, photo by Seidman Photo Studio
Did you know Washington Heights and Inwood used to be home to a giant amusement park? In 1895, the Fort George Amusement Park opened on Amsterdam Avenue between 190th and 192nd Streets, overlooking the Harlem River in what is now Highbridge Park. Located in the same spot as George Washington’s fight against the British, “Harlem’s Coney Island” rivaled Brooklyn’s Coney Island with roller coasters, Ferris wheels, a skating rink, fortune tellers, music halls, casinos, and hotels.
Learn more about the Fort George Amusement Park
New York City’s furor for food halls has not fizzled out quite yet. Construction is currently in progress for the North End Food Hall in Washington Heights at 4300 Broadway and 183rd Street. Set to be the largest food and beer hall in upper Manhattan, the space stretches 6,000 square feet and will feature locally sourced and sustainable goods. As Eater NY learned, seven kiosks will serve everything from fair-trade coffee and craft beer to organic barbecue and burgers.
You may be familiar with the “Pumpkin House,” the extraordinary 1920s townhouse cantilevered across the cliffs at 16 Chittenden Avenue near Manhattan’s highest point in Hudson Heights. The name comes from the home’s Jack-o’-lantern countenance, which bestows motorists along the George Washington Bridge with its anthropomorphic leer. Jack first hit the market last August for $5.25 million, the first time listed since 2011. But still without a buyer, the 17-foot-wide, six-bedroom brick home has a fancy new Sotheby’s listing and a lower ask of $4.25 million.
Have a look inside
The Little Red Lighthouse found at Fort Washington, via Wiki Commons
If looking to learn more about historic New York City this weekend, head over to Fort Washington Park and check out the Little Red Lighthouse, Manhattan’s only remaining lighthouse. The city’s Urban Park Rangers are hosting a tour this Saturday, June 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. and will be on hand to provide information about this unique landmark (h/t Time Out).
Learn the interesting history of the lighthouse
In the heart of the Jumel Terrace Historic District in Washington Heights, already known for the Morris Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in Manhattan, the quaint row houses of Sylvan Terrace are tucked away on one of the city’s “secret” streets. The mansion is not only famous for being General George Washington’s temporary headquarters during the Revolutionary War but for hosting dignitaries from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton; in more modern times, “Hamilton” fans may know it as being the spot where the musical’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda penned songs from the Broadway hit. The historic row of houses, built in the 1880s, was restored by the Landmarks Preservation Commission; 16 Sylvan Terrace was further renovated by its current owners and is now on the market for $1.625 million.
Take a peek inside this historic row house
So titled for its window pattern that resembles a jack-o’-lantern (especially when lit up at night), this funky home in Hudson Heights has long been a hot topic in the real estate scene thanks to its unusual location extending over a cliff near the highest point in Manhattan, just north of the George Washington Bridge.
Built around 1925, the 17-foot-wide brick house was purchased in 2000 for $1.1 million by interior decorator William Spink. After doing a good deal of structural renovation, he listed it for $3.45 million in 2005, but after failing to sell, tried again in 2010 for $3.9 million. It sold the following year and is now back on the market asking $5.25 million.
Take a look around and learn more about the Pumpkin House’s history
In April 2015, developer Sutton Management applied to utilize the city’s 421-a program for a new project at 607 West 161st Street in Washington Heights, just off the New York Presbyterian campus. They received approvals that 13 of the Jeffrey Cole Architects-designed building’s 62 units would be reserved for those earning 60 percent or less than the area median income, and today these units have come online through the city’s affordable housing lottery. They range from $868/month studios to $1,085 two-bedrooms, and for an additional fee, lottery residents will have access to a fitness center and bicycle room.
Find out if you qualify
Last fall, permits were filed to construct a six-story, 10-unit residential building at 563 West 170th Street in Washington Heights. The single-story garage building that occupied the mid-block site between Audubon and St. Nicholas Avenues has been removed and will soon be replaced by a sleek glass and metal building developed by Michael Reznik of Central Park Capital Group and designed by Charles Diehl.